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Artist highlight: Honeysuckle & Sassafras

I have always been entranced by the beauty of the world around me. When I was a child I would go on adventures up the ‘river’ in my backyard, in reality it was just a small creek, and I would look for treasures. I would look at everything closely, from the beautiful plants and bones on the banks to the newts that were swimming with me. The world felt so large to me, and the wonder of nature seemed even larger. That feeling, that fascination with nature, is something I continually strive to preserve. It is also the feeling I try to spark in my viewers. I want to capture the wonder of childlike discovery.

  

My primary art forms are biological illustrations, which are freehand etched into vintage windows, and sculptural pieces that mix found biological oddities such as bones, insects, botanicals, clay, and grown crystals to create surreal worlds.

 

I seek the beauty in all things around me, especially things that are looked over, discarded, or are thought of as disgusting. Often my process isn't the most glamorous, it’s actually quite the opposite, but there is a beauty to taking the time to respect nature, in all of its forms, including death. My goal as an artist is to create objects that at first sight captivate the viewer, and secondarily challenge their concept and relationship with death. I try to challenge my viewer to see past the idea of mortality to the beauty and respect of a life well lived.  All of the objects I used in my work are scavenged and ethically sourced, most often being found by me on drives or hikes through the wilderness. This bonds me to each piece, allows me to remember the origin of each object, and the journey it took to become a piece of art. Because these are found, it means that they often have imperfections, and as with people I believe that these imperfections are what adds to their beauty. Every unique skull is designed based on their shape, natural lines, and size, highlighting their individuality. Every ‘Tiny World’ is created specifically for each bug, and is meant to bring an element of fun and whimsy that can be admired forever.  All of my sculptural work is meant to honor the life of the animals and insects used, keeping with my biggest driving principle, to make only from what I find.

 

My illustrated work is inspired by early biological illustration, and is based on a series of reference images that I look up in the weeks leading up to etching. Each image takes into consideration the shape, size, and flow of the window. I then retire my references and begin to etch.  This is my form of meditation. There is a moment, when I let go and trust the image in my mind and my hand to follow it. Once this happens, my mind quiets, and there is nothing but creating. I hope that unusual canvas draws people in and brings a new feeling to a classic form and technique, capturing the beauty that I feel in the creative process.  




 

Bio: I am a self taught artist. I have been an artist since childhood but studied science in college, which heavily influences my style. After college, I traveled the world for over two years, predominantly in eastern europe and SE Asia, living in places like Turkey and Cambodia. When I came home I got a job for a gold prospecting company based in Southern Utah and travelled around the Southwest during my time off. I moved back to Eugene Oregon about 8 years ago to focus more on my art, and became a florist. I am now a full time artist and freelance event florist in the PNW, based in Eugene.



You can follow my creative process on Instagram: @honeyandsass and Floral work @honeyandsassflorals

Purchase my work and check out what's available: honeyandsass.com
Or go check out my work in person at Glasshaus Gardens, 6433 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206
Beautiful photos by Caely Brandon,

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